How long has it been since you lost your child/ren? Has your grief changed at all? Is your life becoming any easier or is it just harder as time passes?
I lost Lia Rose on January 2, 2009, so just over four months ago. My grief has definitely changed during this course of time and I am sure that it will continue to change. I lost her at 18 weeks pregnant and at the time I thought that I would never get through a day without crying. Just last week I realized that I had gone five days without shedding a tear, but then have cried pretty much every day since then. I see an evolution to the grief though; it is definitely not as profound as it was when it first happened. About a week after we lost Lia Rose, it was an extremely rainy day. I truly felt like I shed as many inches in tears as it had rained. I just cried all day long. It was cathartic. I think that I needed to do that. It was the only day that I cried like that. I feel like I do really well and then something happens and I hit a brick wall. Taking a few steps backwards from where I was. My due date is coming up on June 4th and I feel like getting past that will be a huge milestone in this grieving process. I am anxious because I really do not know at all how I am going to be that week. Sometimes my anticipation is worse than things actually are, but there have been a few times where that is not the case. I do feel as time is going on it isn’t necessarily easier it is just different. It isn’t all consuming like it was at first. I can think about it and be sad for a little, or a while, but generally go back to my day.
How do you feel when you see pregnant women when you are out and about?
I see pregnant women all the time. I know about 20 some odd pregnant girls. Many of my friends are currently pregnant. Some have just recently given birth, which has been difficult for me. Some are due after I was. I am a school-based speech pathologist and working in a school I am also always surrounded by a couple of pregnant women. I am not sure what it is or why it is happening, but there are some that I am fine around and others that I have a tough time around. There doesn’t seem to be much rhyme or reason to it. I really can’t explain it. When I see pregnant women out and about often I just think, I wonder if that is what I would have looked like. Some days I handle it fine and some days it sets me off. It is the unpredictableness that makes me crazy. If I knew that something was going to bother me all the time I could handle it, but one time it does, one time it doesn’t. It is just so inconsistent.
What’s your therapy in the aftermath of losing your child/ren? Do you go to counseling? Do you do artwork or some kind of exercise or do you simply just let yourself be? What helps you?
My husband and I have actually gone to therapy together and separately. It has been extremely helpful to me to talk to someone who is not involved in the situation and reassure me that I am and we are doing ok. My husband has been extremely supportive through this situation and so have most friends and family. It has helped me to talk about and write about what has happened to me. I reached out to friends when I needed to even if it was on Facebook or an e-mail. I didn’t always want to talk, but I found that chatting with friends was helpful. Talking to people who have had losses has also been helpful to me. In particular, speaking to someone who also had a loss at 18 weeks was an excellent support for me. I have written some poems and participated in the March for Babies through the March of Dimes raising a nice amount of money since I only decided to do it one month before the walk. I didn’t know if I would feel well enough because I had surgery the month before. I am trying to do things that will help me honor and remember our daughter and that really helps. My co-workers got us a gift card to a nursery and we were able to buy a weeping cherry tree to plant in our yard for her. I think they are beautiful and it will always remind me of our angel.